When you live in a big city like Delhi in a small flat, any edible thing that emerges from soil inside your house gives you a big thrill…
When white brinjals began appearing on a potted plant in my balcony, I was absolutely amazed as I had almost given up on it. Year after year, new flowers kept appearing, falling, and getting replaced by new ones, but the flowers just did not turn into any fruits, like one of those perpetually unlucky kids whom Success treats like outcasts.
I didn’t have the heart to pluck these bringals, so I let them be. Now they are ripening and their color has changed into a bright, attractive yellow. See below.
Their continued, tenacious presence in my balcony has a reassuring effect on me every morning while I water all the potted plants.
I know it’s like holding on to something that I know will collapse one day. But that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?
And here are some pics of a few other edibles that I plucked.
Last week, my husband brought home a big packet of jamuns (Indian Blackberry). They were quite good, but we couldn’t eat them all because jamuns have a tangy taste and tend to cause a sore throat. I didn’t want to let them sit in the fridge and rot away since jamuns have lots of health benefits. So I decided to make a chutney with it. It was the first time I made a chutney out of jamuns and it turned out to be quite tasty.
Here are the step-by-step pics.
Wash the jamuns in a sieve.
2. Peel them with a knife and remove the seeds.
3. Add green coriander and mint (dhania and pudina leaves) after washing them properly.
4. Add green chillies & gur.
5. Put all these ingredients into a mixie. Add salt according to taste. Add some water and grind into a paste. You will get a sweet-sour chutney just like what you see on the top….
It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have finally learnt the art of growing mint in a pot, starting from a mere branch sans any roots or leaves.I spend my mornings these days gazing happily at the young mint leaves sprouting from the greenish-brown shoots sticking out proudly from the soil…
I look forward to making mint chutney in future with my own home-grown mint…
Here are the step-by-step pics…
Step 1: Choose a thick stem and slice it diagnally as you can see here.
Step 2: Plant it gently in the pot in a diagonal position.
Step 3: Press the area around the stem on the soil to remove the air bubbles
Step 4: Water the pot and press again like this.
Step 5: Just be patient and take care that the pot is never dry. After a few days, you will be rewarded with new leaves like the ones you see in the pic. Not all branches will survive though. Some will wither and dry.
Last Sunday, during my weekly stock-taking in my kitchen, I noticed that my fridge contained a 4-day-old cooked Gavar Phali (Cluster Beans) dish. We had already had it several times already and none of my family members wanted to eat it any more. Gavar is not a very popular vegetable anyway. But I hate to waste food items, so I had to find a way out and turn it to into something else that could be eaten with great relish.
Another item sitting idle was pudina (mint). I had bought fresh pudina 3 days ago for making chutney. But the mixie conked out at the last minute, leaving me with a bowlful of pudina that couldn’t be stored in the fridge for too long. Its leaves turn black very soon. So I dried the leaves in the microwave oven. I used a little bit of this in a few dishes, but a lot of it was still remaining…
I decided to apply my Mom’s style of cooking that day and combined both of these items with atta, onions and spices. I kneaded the whole stuff into a dough and made parathas with it. They were delicious and all the items were over in a jiffy. Here are the pics…
Mix atta (mixed grain preferable), cooked gavar vegetable (you can use boiled gavar also), chopped onions, dried pudina (you can use fresh pudina also), and spices (ajwain, salt, etc). I added only salt and ajwain, since my cooked gavar was already well-spiced.
2. While kneading the dough, remove the gavar threads that you come across, since they might upset your stomach. This bowl that you see here contained the cooked gavar earlier, as you must have guessed from the oil and spices sticking to it. The idea of writing this post came to me only after the gavar and pudina had got mashed inside the dough…
3. Take out rolls of dough.
4. Roll each of these balls on a chakla like this.
5. Shallow fry the paratha on a tawa and remove it after it turns brown on all sides.
6. Serve the parathas with a chutney/dip of your choice.